OCEAN CITY – Ocean City might just see a few scoot coupes on Ocean City roads after all; just not on Coastal Highway.
Peter and Kozmos Gakurias, managing partners of Fun Cycles on 26th Street, got a bit of good news at the Police Commission meeting on Wednesday, as their scoot coupes were granted allowance on town-owned roads.
When scoot coupes first started popping up on Ocean City roadways, there was extreme interest in the three-wheel mini-cars of sorts, but local officials weren’t quite sure what to classify them as, and to the chagrin of the business owners, they were quickly deemed illegal on state roads.
Since Coastal Highway is a state-owned road, and the three-wheeled vehicles were recently deemed “mini-bikes” not allowable on state roads, the Gakurias brothers, who spent almost $40,000 on the scoot coupes, will now be allowed to rent them, pending a City Council ruling, on the basis that they will only be driven on Baltimore Avenue from 15-33rd streets and possibly on St. Louis Avenue. The commission is waiting to see if the scoot coupes will be allowed to cross Coastal Highway to get to St. Louis Avenue and for the council’s final blessing before Fun Cycles can offer them to their customer base.
“We’ve been working hand in hand with the people at Fun Cycles and they have gone above and beyond almost any business we’ve ever dealt with to make responsible decisions and make these scoot coupes safe,” said Police Chief Bernadette DiPino. “They’ve done everything we’ve asked them to and more.”
Gakurias told the commission changes have been made to the scoot coupes in order to make them more visible to normal traffic, including placing two 50-inch flags on the back of the coupes.
“We will give them a map telling them exactly where they can go legally, and we will make them sign the contract saying that we told them and they understand,” said Peter Gakurias.
In a previous interview, Gakurias claimed that he had gone through all the proper steps to make sure that the scoot coupes were considered legal on state roads and was told that they were in compliance before making the investment.
However, the Attorney General’s office ruled that they were considered to be a mini-bike, and thus, non-road worthy.
“I think they are way safer than a scooter, and I’d be happy to make a motion at the council level explaining exactly where you can use these things, and I would hope that we get this on an upcoming work session because the season is upon us and they have been very cooperative and spent a lot of money on these things,” said Councilman Jim Hall,
DiPino told Gakurias he could contest the current law, but he would need to take it up at the state level, even though the town is allowed to grant usage of the scoot coupes on town owned roads.
“Some other businesses might have gone out and deliberately broken the law, but these guys haven’t done that, so I’ve been very impressed with how they’ve handled this,” she said.